At Work

Seven awkward questions never to ask your boss

When it comes to work or even school, asking questions is a good thing.

However, there are some questions that are just plain inappropriate to ask, especially to your bosses, unless you and your boss are exchanging friendship bracelets or if you have worked for them long enough. It can cost you your job and may affect your performance.

If you’re wondering what such questions may be, here is a list of seven of them:

1. “When can I get my raise?”

It is only natural for employees to expect a raise when they do a good job. However, there is a time and place for this question. Asking this every time you complete a task is just going to drive your boss crazy.

2. “How do I do this?”

When assigned a task, your boss expects you to come up with your own plans and figure things out yourself. If you have a habit of asking this question every time your boss throws you a task, they are going to lose confidence in you. Ask this question only when you really need guidance, and before asking, make sure to have already prepared some of your own solutions. This shows that you have already put some thought into the problem.

3. “What are we here for?”

You can’t be attending a meeting without knowing what the meeting is for. Arriving at a meeting and then asking “what are we here for?” is taking a stab at yourself. You will not only annoy your boss but also your colleagues.

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4. “How much money do you make?”

Firstly, it can be quite rude to ask a person this question straight up, let alone your boss. This question can bring discomfort (and anger) to your boss because it is something quite personal. It is like asking someone, “how much do you weigh?”.

5. “Are you pregnant?”

Usually, women put more thought into their looks compared to men. They spend at least an hour every morning just to get ready for work. So, asking this question to a female boss can end up in two possible outcomes. One, if she really is pregnant then lucky you but if she’s not, prepare yourself to be knocked out or made into a voodoo doll. At the end of the day, it is safe to avoid this question completely because if she really is pregnant, she would likely announce it herself.

6. “Can I go back/leave now?”

Asking this every day is a silent career killer. Your boss would assume that you are not serious in your work because you are always so eager to get back home. You may be in the office but your mind would appear to be somewhere else. Unless it is an emergency, other reasons just doesn't cut it.

7. “How long before you retire?”

Asking this question is like asking your boss, “How soon are you going to leave?”. Chances are, your boss will take it the wrong way. They may think that you are waiting to replace them one day or that they seem too old for the job. This question is a big no-no and will lose you valuable brownie points.

Have you been asked an inappropriate question at work? Tweet us at @myStarjobdotcom to share your crazy experiences!


Related articles:

The power of saying 'No'

Why your boss may never apologise

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